SINGAPORE, Jan. 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Andrew William Khine, Chief Executive Officer of 3DOM Singapore today published an article “Purchasing An Electric Vehicle? Don’t Forget About The Batteries” discussing the impact of battery technology on the electric vehicle industry. The full text is as follows:
A heartening development in 2020 has been the growth of the electric vehicle (EV) industry, which could set the timer backward for climate change. Powered by electrical grids, EVs produce far lower emissions over their lifetime cycle compared to internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. As countries move towards fulfilling their climate targets, the shift away from carbon-based fuel to renewable energy sources like wind or solar will drive the footprint of EVs down even further.
While barriers to adoption remain in Southeast Asia, the move to full-scale adoption in cities like Singapore marks a heartening step forward for green initiatives in the region. China has become the world’s largest manufacturer and purchaser of EVs, and the Asia Pacific is set to see the largest growth over the next decade. Opportunities for growth have been seized as well, with 3DOM announcing its entry into the Bangladeshi market in November 2020 in collaboration with the Bangladesh-based conglomerate backing Cosmos Global Resources.
Furthermore, introducing EVs to fossil-fuel dependent developing countries could help mitigate the effects of pollution and build more energy-independent cities. Cities like Dhaka and Beijing have air pollution indexes (APIs) that render the young, old, and sick more likely to develop respiratory conditions. Switching to widespread use of EVs could not only mitigate the environmental and health fallout of pollution, but also reduce costs by relying on the city’s electrical grid as opposed to the notoriously finicky fossil fuel market. Developing EV fleets could also supplement existing public transport infrastructure, providing access to amenities for those living in remote areas.
With this growth, innovations in the development of batteries will be a key factor impacting the upward trajectory of the EV market. In fact, the build and quality of batteries can impact the travel range, recharging time, total lifespan and overall performance of an EV. Because of the critical role it plays in powering an EV, batteries form the priciest part of the vehicle, contributing to up to 40% of the total cost.
As the automotive industry innovates and recontextualises batteries for EV ownership, sharing, and rental, here is 3DOM’s take on how innovations into batteries are reshaping the face of the EV industry.
Developing Smarter Batteries
As mentioned above, batteries comprise a significant share of the power and price of an EV. First developed in Stanford University in 1979, battery-powered EVs (BEVs) are typically powered by lithium-ion batteries (LIBs), known for their high energy density and long cycle life. Since their inception, LIBs have been used to power everything from BEVs to drones and even households, as well as to store energy generated by solar panels and other sources.
Currently, the industry is concerned with four key factors determining the efficacy of LIBs: reliability, cost, energy density, and lifespan.
Firstly, heat resistant cathodes must be used to manufacture LIBs to improve their reliability. While electric vehicles are extremely safe, there is a risk that LIBs damaged by extreme heat or trauma may be ignited or even explode.
Secondly, the industry is exploring innovations in materials and reduced use of rare metals in order to reduce the sticker costs of purchasing an EV. Lower overall costs ease the barriers to entry for an average consumer, encouraging EV adoption.
Thirdly, the industry is developing lithium metal anodes to increase energy density. LIB energy density is currently capped at 300-500 Wh/L and 150–250 Wh/kg. Higher energy densities will allow EVs to travel longer distances on full charge.
Lastly, fine-tuning chemical stability and reducing material deterioration can maximise the lifespan of batteries, reducing the costs of battery replacement and wastage.
Building smarter batteries benefits everyone. To illustrate, 3DOM’s lithium ion batteries can recharge in just 3 hours, cutting conventional recharging periods. The batteries, which can survive temperatures between 0 and 45 degrees Celsius during charge and -20 to 55 degrees Celsius during discharge, can also be used to power EVs in the extreme cold or heat without experiencing a drastic drop in battery performance and lifespan.
Building Smarter Systems
As EVs become the norm, it is more crucial than ever to ensure that appropriate safeguards are put in place to prevent the illegal dumping of batteries. More than 20,000 tonnes of waste can be generated from the illegal disposal of batteries, setting conservation efforts back. Therefore, battery life cycle management is necessary to track the movement of batteries as they exchange hands in the supply chain.
This is where 3DOM’s solutions come in. Powered by blockchain and IoT, 3DOM’s customised systems architecture can be used to track battery health levels and usage data from roll out to replacement. From the convenience of a smartphone, the batteries can even be located as they are transferring hands between owners and manufacturers, or recyclers and second-hand resellers. This means that once a battery outlives the span of its EV’s life, it doesn’t get dumped into a landfill – instead, it can be tracked down and repurposed for other uses, for instance to store energy generated by solar panels. Batteries can even be broken down into their components and repurposed as new batteries, cutting down on the environmental and financial costs of manufacturing new batteries.
Ultimately, EVs should be integrated into an ecosystem that is capable of maximising the benefits of the technology. For example, 3DOM is leasing Micro Electric Vehicles to solve first and last mile transportation in developing regions. EVs allow local communities to access amenities and link retail stores, logistic partners and other entities into a single ecosystem that can work off-grid or on micro-grids.
Now is an exciting time for the EV industry, given the myriad innovations supporting the growth of the field. EVs can serve as more than alternative sources of transport for major cities, and if deployed effectively, this technology can fast track the transport utilities of underserved communities. At the end of the day, the best way to optimise the benefits of EVs is to tailor their advantages to the specific context each market has to offer.
About 3DOM Singapore
Incorporated in July 2019, 3DOM Singapore serves as the SEA regional office of 3DOM, overseeing the fundraising and business development activities of the organisation outside of Japan, with a particular focus on energy storage systems (ESS). 3DOM’s cutting-edge Lithium Rechargeable Battery Technology aims to resolve energy issues and build sustainable societies, across prominent industries such as Electric Vehicles, Renewable Energy, Residential Homes, Marine Vessels and Air Drones.To find out more, please visit https://www.3dom.co.jp/en/
About Cosmos Global Resources
Cosmos Global Resources Singapore is part of a Bangladeshi multinational conglomerate headquartered in Dhaka. The Group’s diverse businesses include Energy, Technology, Media, Resources, Logistics, Water and Defense.